December 13, 2022

Community Corner : Ballina Community Centre

Ballina Community Centre/Meals on Wheels is a social service that prepares, cooks and delivers meals six days a week to the homes of the elderly and those unable to do so for themselves due to physical or mental health issues. The service was established in 1969 and is run by a committee of dedicated volunteers. The meals are delivered by a Garda-vetted team or trusted volunteers. 

Prior to Covid, in-house dining was available to clients who were able and who loved to meet up and enjoy their meal in the Centre as a social outing. Hopefully, we will be able to resume this part of the service again very soon.

In addition to the meals, rooms are also available in the Centre for essential services and self-help groups at an affordable rate. 

"Despite rising costs, we make a consistent effort to keep the cost of the meals as low as possible and with the intervention of FoodCloud, we are succeeding in doing this. The quality and variety of the food available to us from FoodCloud is excellent. We receive a variety of foods that otherwise we just couldn’t afford. It is an amazing service through which we have developed a great rapport with the management and staff of our local Tesco, who are great supporters of Meals on Wheels and have donated surplus turkeys at Christmas and Easter."     

With the recent opening of Aldi in Ballina, and with their participation with FoodCloud, we are now availing of a greater variety of meats like pork fillet and an interesting selection of fish that we couldn’t normally afford, so we never need to skimp on the quality of our meals. FoodCloud is very important to us. There is zero waste as everything gets used to make sauces, gravies and desserts. The availability of a wider variety of fresh food gives our very creative cooks the opportunity to experiment and add layers of flavour to the meals. The meal consists of two courses - dinner and dessert and particular attention is paid to any special dietary requirements our clients may have. 

Meals on Wheels plays a crucial role in the lives of our clients. Apart from delivering nutritious, delicious, affordable hot meals, which support their health and well-being, there is a social connection and a well-being checkup done by our dedicated volunteers who form meaningful connections with our clients, which enable them to live independently and provide valuable peace-of-mind to their loved ones. 

The food we receive from FoodCloud and their participating stores reflects positively in our annual running costs, however, it is still a constant effort to keep the balance, and we are continually striving for ways to raise funds, we rely heavily on the goodwill of our amazing community for donations and support and we are never disappointed. 

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